The LORD will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.
Psalm 121:3b, 4, 8
Reading good books together has always been one of our great delights as a family. The Chronicles of Narnia, a series by C. S. Lewis, has become a perennial favorite.
In The Horse and His Boy, one of the books in Lewis’s series, two young fugitives, along with their talking horses, are fleeing the brutal country of Calormen, hoping to make it across the dreaded desert to safety in Narnia.
As they travel they are plagued by lions. Lions force the two pairs of horses and riders together; lions stand roaring between them and the edge of a precipice in the blackness of night; lions frighten the horses into a gallop when the enemy is pressing down on them. When the children finally meet Aslan, the Christ figure, they learn the beautiful, awesome truth. “I am the only lion you met in all your journeying,” he says. The beast they feared as an enemy is revealed as their truest friend. Aslan tells them:
I am the lion who forced you to join with Aravis. I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead. I was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept. I was the lion who gave the horses the new strength of fear for the last mile so that you could reach King Lune in time. And I was the lion you do not remember who pushed the boat in which you lay, a child near death, so that it came to the shore where a man watched at midnight to save you.
Don’t we often see the same things in our lives? I remember my own keen disappointment when a job promised to me was given to another man. Yet the rejection that I perceived as a career setback proved to be God’s means of placing me in another position, one much more appropriate for me and much better for the needs of my family. It was by God’s mercy that a door I found attractive was slammed in my face.
At the very time God appeared to be AWOL, He was at work. God is not a part-time protector. There is never a time when He is unconcerned or too busy to take care of us. As Aslan said, He is “between us and the edge all the time.”